Job losses as Holocaust Centre faces cash crisis

Up to nine redundancies will be made at the Holocaust Centre in Nottinghamshire in a bid to alleviate its financial crisis.

The memorial and educational centre founded by non-Jewish brothers Stephen and James Smith 14 years ago needs to slash its annual budget from £800,000 to £500,000 and activities such as professional training could be axed. It intends to focus its resources on educating the young — 22,000 primary and secondary pupils visit the centre every year.

Short-term financial support has been provided by the Pears Foundation and the centre has launched an urgent appeal for a further £170,000 to cover the expected shortfall in next year’s budget.

Earlier this year, Stephen Smith took the job as director of Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation in California. James Smith, who has remained, says the centre has struggled to make ends meet in recent years.

“We were doing OK for the first decade but for the last four years it has been hand to mouth. We are attracting more children and have more professional staff so the costs have gone up and we have just not been able to bridge that extra funding. The financial situation in the last year hasn’t helped and there have been donations we were expecting that didn’t come.”

The stark choice had been closure or a radical restructuring of operations. “We have had to slim down hugely and that means cutting staff and other activities.”

It was particularly disheartening as “there has never been a more important time to tackle extremism. When we should be ramping up the work, we’re cutting back”.

    Last updated: 4:42pm, November 5 2009